The entrance of the Chrisi Avgi (Golden Dawn) leader Nikos Michaloliakos in parliament (as a result of the Greek elections on 6 May 2012), has brought to light all of his “heroic” past. His youthful exploits include two incidents with a film interest: The bomb attacks on the cinemas Elli and Rex in central Athens.
On March 11, 1978 an explosion shakes the cinema Elli on Academias street, during a viewing. It is Saturday evening, 9.30, a time were the movie theater is full of people. A bomb was placed in the room with the obvious intent to cause many casualties. The most seriously injured person was the one who was sitting on the chair that had the bomb. He lost both his legs. There were another 18 wounded inside the cinema.
On that week the Elli cinema was playing the Soviet film “Rainbow”, this automatically identified the ideological identity of the perpetrators.
Three months later, on June 20, 1978, again in rush hour, at around 9 O’clock at night, another bomb explodes in one of the most central theaters of Athens, it was Rex on Panepistimiou street. The bomb was placed in the middle seats. The aim was again to cause as as many victims as possible. 15 people were injured.
Again, the film that was playing at the time was a Soviet one with the title “War on all fronts.”
Both bombings fall into a similar wave of terrorist attacks that shook Athens for two years, 1977 and 1978, and had no precedent. The attacks always had leftist targets: The magazine Anti, the newspaper Avgi, the KKE offices, the KNE offices, shops with Soviet products, etc. (full list of bombings here).
Finally, in late July 1978, a right-wing group was arrested as responsible for the murderous acts. Among those arrested was Nikos Michaloliakos, an army officer cadet at the time. A few days later Aristotle Kaletzis was also identified as a suspect and he was imprisoned since 1977 for previous bombings. He was considered as the leader of the group.
Kalentzis Aristotle, who considers himself as a political prisoner of the Karamanlis regime, wrote and released two books, “Democracy 80s, Galley” and “Black book of Kostas Pleuris”, which reveals a very interesting background of connections between neo-fascist organizations and the Greek Central Intelligence Service (CIS).
Kalentzis, refuses any involvement in bomb attacks and accuses Pleuris as the organizer of the conspiracy and reveals evidence. He provides a photocopy of Pleuris testimony to the prosecutor D. Gyftakis on March 1977, in which the theorist of fascism in Greece seem to accuse, Kalentzis, Michaloliakos and four others as participants in “unlawful acts”. At the same time he calls him stupid-snitch of CIS, scum, crook, sad midget, stupid, etc. (details in Kalentzis books circulating freely on the Internet).
Initially, the ten defendants of the right-wing group were referred to the prosecutor for violation of the law “On combating terrorism” to a felony degree. With a decision of the Judicial Council Michaloliakos and two more are referred to the five-member appeals court for violation of the law “on weapons and explosives” which is a misdemeanor .
Harris Kousoumvris, a former member of Chrisi Avgi (Golden Dawn) , in his book “Demolishing the myth of Chrisi Avgi” refers to the same period and the strange behavior of the state towards Michaloliakos. He writes: “The prosecutor charges him with 11 felonies, half of which are punishable with life imprisonment. In the trial he is sentenced with 13 months imprisonment, while Appeal the Court reduces it to11 months! Why these sentences? People are asking about the involvement of nationalists in the state. Unfairly? ”
Harris Kousoumvris provides photocopies of Michaloliakos testimony showing that he, like Plevris earlier, gives names of “comrades” to the police. Nikos Michaloliakos, after a brief imprisonment comes out clean regarding the case of the bombing attacks, and in 1980 he founded an association that publishes a magazine named Chrisi Avgi. It is the beginning of a new era that will bring him inside the parliament.
Regarding the movie theaters, Ellie is still open while Rex hasn’t shown a movie for years now.
(Note. The evidence for this article come from the research of my new documentary “Destroy the cinema.”)
- Golden Dawn leader charged with heading a criminal gang (theguardian.com)
- Greek far-right leader, others arrested (news.yahoo.com)
- Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas surrenders to Greek police (theguardian.com)